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Pelvic osteomyelitis and other infections of the bony pelvis in adults

Daniel J Sexton, MD
Section Editor
Stephen B Calderwood, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Infections of the bones and joints of the pelvis may arise hematogenously, secondary to trauma or surgery via direct inoculation of pathogens into bone, or via contiguous spread of infection from soft tissues within or outside the bony walls of the pelvis. These infections may manifest as pelvic osteomyelitis or septic arthritis with contiguous spread to the adjacent bony margins.

Issues related to pelvic osteomyelitis and septic arthritis of the two principle joints of the pelvis (the pubic symphysis and sacroiliac joint) will be reviewed here.

General issues related to the pathogenesis and classification of osteomyelitis and the clinical features of other types of osteomyelitis are discussed separately. (See "Overview of osteomyelitis in adults" and "Pathogenesis of osteomyelitis" and "Treatment and prevention of osteomyelitis following trauma in adults" and "Hematogenous osteomyelitis in adults".)

Nonsuppurative processes involving the sacroiliac joint are discussed separately. (See "Clinical manifestations of axial spondyloarthritis (ankylosing spondylitis and nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis) in adults" and "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease and other gastrointestinal diseases".)

Clinical manifestations of osteomyelitis and septic arthritis are discussed separately. (See "Overview of osteomyelitis in adults" and "Septic arthritis in adults".)

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 29, 2016.
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